Nationally, the 2010 elections have seen an explosion of money from outside groups.
In the Georgia gubernatorial campaign, for example, three groups not from the Empire State of the South --the Democratic Governors Association (DGA), Republican Governors Association (RGA) and SEIU International-- pumped more than $3 million into the state to influence the election [SOURCE: State Ethics Commission].
The result of all this outside money is an increasingly negative campaign permeated with ads focused on attacks, and not solutions.
A survey of 1,000 Americans nationwide suggests a wide majority believe it is unacceptable for groups to spend heavily on political advertising in districts where they are not located, a phenomenon dubbed "outside money."
Self-described independents expressed the most opposition to outside election spending, at about 72 percent. Self-described Democrats and Republicans both oppose the practice, at about 65 percent, respectively.
Self-described conservatives, liberals and moderates oppose outside spending by about 65 percent, while a full 75 percent of Americans aged 50 and older oppose it, too. About 63 percent of Americans who earn more than $100,000 and 69 percent of those making less than $25,000 oppose outside spending.
This poll was conducted by Zogby International, and it tells us the obvious. At all levels of government, we need real campaign finance reform. At all levels of government, we need limits on spending from outside groups. We need limits on campaign contributions, and we need more transparency on those disclosure reports.
The big news circulating throughout the blogosphere Tuesday afternoon is a report that a federal judge has halted the enforcement of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy which does not allow GLBT Americans to serve openly and honorably in the military.
Judge Virginia Phillips ordered the military "immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation, or other proceeding, that may have been commenced" under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
Nearly a million workers won't get a consumer protection in the U.S. health reform law meant to cap insurance costs because the government exempted their employers.
Thirty companies and organizations, including McDonald's (MCD) and Jack in the Box (JACK), won't be required to raise the minimum annual benefit included in low-cost health plans, which are often used to cover part-time or low-wage employees.
In what world would Republicans have a better gay rights record than that of a so-called progressive, Democratic presidential administration?
We are living in that world, 2010 America, and a GOP-allied group paid more than lip-service to the nation's gay community as the Democratic administration of President Barack Obama hemmed and hawed their way around an important GLBT issue.
Six years after first taking legal action to overturn the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" military policy, the Log Cabin Republicans won a victory for gay Americans everywhere. United States District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips ruled that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is unconstitutional.
Prominent Georgia evangelist, Bishop Eddie Long (pictured at left), is on the defensive this week after three former parishioners filed a lawsuit alleging that Long "utilized his spiritual authority as Bishop [. . .] to coerce certain young male members into engaging in sexual acts and relationships for his own personal sexual gratification." [Matteucci, Megan and Boone, Christian (2010-9-22). Bishop Eddie Long | Third sexual coercion lawsuit filed. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved on 2010-9-22.]
The allegations, which Long "adamantly denies," resulted in Democratic gubernatorial nominee Roy Barnes cancelling a fundraiser where Long was to serve as a co-host.
"Roy is the only candidate in this race who has consistently been a friend to our community," Long said in a press release announcing his endorsement of Barnes. "He is the only one I trust to guide our state in a better direction."
Seeing a chink in the armor of Republican Nathan Deal after an Atlanta Journal-Constitution report that he's teetering near bankruptcy, the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) sought to exploit the weakness by raising questions on his ability to effectively manage Georgia's finances.
In a blog entry posted on its site Wednesday, the DGA called Deal's financial troubles "Christine O’Donnell-esque."
Nathan Deal, who has already been named one of the most corrupt members of Congress for lining his own pockets, now appears to be having Christine O’Donnell-esque problems with his house. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Deal is in such dire financial trouble that he must sell his home to avert foreclosure.
Just who you want in charge of your state’s finances.
Christine O'Donnell, who won the Delaware Republican Party's U.S. Senate nomination Tuesday, has faced questions about her personal finances after a media investigation found that she was "confronted by the IRS about unpaid income taxes and sold her Wilmington home to a campaign staffer to avoid a sheriff's sale ordered to settle mortgage claims." [Gibson, Ginger (2010-3-20). Delaware politics: O'Donnell faces campaign debt, back-tax issues. The News Journal (Delaware). Retrieved on 2010-9-16.]
However, some are questioning the accuracy of the numbers following a polling model that incorrectly places the male composition of likely voters at 54%. Statistics from the Georgia Secretary of State Elections Division show that, over the past twelve years, male voters have averaged about 45% of the Peach State's electorate. Women, on the other hand, have made up about 55% of the state's electorate.
The SurveyUSA poll shows Barnes and Deal tied among likely women voters with 46% a piece.
The 30-second spot was paid for by RGA Georgia 2010 PAC, an independent committee registered with the Georgia State Ethics Commission. Independent committees in Georgia have no limits on the amount of money they can accept or spend.
Tuesday, Democrats in Georgia's 12th congressional district re-nominated U.S. Representative John Barrow for a fourth term in the House of Representatives. However, the story coming out of the July 20th primary is not Barrow's victory but the fact that his primary opponent nearly doubled her vote total from two years ago.
Despite raising only $43,709, former state Senator Regina Thomas garnered 42% of the vote according to unofficial returns [SOURCE: Georgia Election Results; July 20, 2010]. Compare that to her performance in 2008, when Thomas received a paltry 23% against Barrow, and one comes away with the picture that a well-funded primary opponent could possibly beat the three-term Savannah Democrat in two years [SOURCE: Georgia Election Results; July 15, 2010].
Regina Thomas' 19-point jump from 2008 to 2010 can only be attributed to Democrats' disapproval of John Barrow's vote against the health care bill.
Before Tuesday's primary, several local Democratic elected officials and Democratic Party activists expressed their dismay at Barrow's vote. Some even vowed to recruit a strong primary challenger for Barrow in the future.
Democrat John Barrow will face the winner of the Republican primary run-off between Ray McKinney and Carl Smith. CQ Politics rates the race as "likely Democratic".